View synonyms for capacity


[ kuh-pas-i-tee ]


, plural ca·pac·i·ties.
  1. the ability to receive or contain:

    This hotel has a large capacity.

  2. the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained; cubic contents; volume:

    The inn is filled to capacity.

    The gasoline tank has a capacity of 20 gallons.

    Synonyms: amplitude

  3. power of receiving impressions, knowledge, etc.; mental ability:

    the capacity to learn calculus.

    Synonyms: talent, endowment

  4. actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand:

    He has a capacity for hard work.

    The capacity of the oil well was 150 barrels a day.

    She has the capacity to go two days without sleep.

    Synonyms: capability, competence, adequacy, aptitude

  5. quality or state of being susceptible to a given treatment or action:

    Steel has a high capacity to withstand pressure.

  6. position; function; role:

    He served in the capacity of legal adviser.

  7. legal qualification.
  8. Electricity.
    1. maximum possible output.


  1. reaching maximum capacity:

    a capacity audience;

    a capacity crowd.


/ kəˈpæsɪtɪ /


  1. the ability or power to contain, absorb, or hold
  2. the amount that can be contained; volume

    a capacity of six gallons

    1. the maximum amount something can contain or absorb (esp in the phrase filled to capacity )
    2. ( as modifier )

      a capacity crowd

  3. the ability to understand or learn; aptitude; capability

    he has a great capacity for Greek

  4. the ability to do or produce (often in the phrase at capacity )

    the factory's output was not at capacity

  5. a specified position or function

    he was employed in the capacity of manager

  6. a measure of the electrical output of a piece of apparatus such as a motor, generator, or accumulator
  7. electronics a former name for capacitance
  8. computing
    1. the number of words or characters that can be stored in a particular storage device
    2. the range of numbers that can be processed in a register
  9. the bit rate that a communication channel or other system can carry
  10. legal competence

    the capacity to make a will

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Word History and Origins

Origin of capacity1

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English capacite, capasite, from Middle French, from Latin capācitāt-, stem of capācitās “ability, understanding,” equivalent to capāci- (stem of capāx “confident, fit, roomy,” equivalent to cap(ere) “to take, seize” + -āx, adjective suffix) + -tās -ty 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of capacity1

C15: from Old French capacite, from Latin capācitās, from capāx spacious, from capere to take

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Example Sentences

Strickland’s lawsuit sought $75,000 in damages for “physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries” from the incident, lost wages and earning capacity and past and future medical care and expenses.

Those are two things that humans have some capacity for, but we constantly fall short.

It also plans to use the new capital in part to scale its production capacity with increased automation.

On the other hand, more capacity means more weight, and if that’s something you’d prefer to avoid, consider a product with a smaller, lighter bag.

One strategist who said he received sexual solicitations from Weaver said he knew him at first in a professional capacity.

Specifically, the pilots got themselves into a high altitude stall, where the wings lose the capacity to provide lift.

It is all too easy to be despondent in the face of what seems like the endless capacity of evil to reinvent itself.

Foxx says that he thinks this generation has the capacity to keep pushing through racial barriers.

For example, since 2011 it has been adding 30 per cent more capacity per year on flights to Puerto Rico.

First up is the larger wash still, its capacity ranging from 25,000 to 30,000 liters.

Wasn't the dead man stretched in the shadow convincing proof of their capacity for pure devilishness?

This widening grasp of languages is or was within the capacity of nearly everyone born into the world—given the facilities.

Here and there exceptional industry or extraordinary capacity raised the artisan to wealth and turned the "man" into the "master."

There was a while when I developed a marvelous capacity for dodging invitations to Fort Walsh.

It is said that his bold spirit, his capacity for work and his great influence daunted his most determined opponents.





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